Justice For Ami Ortiz

Last week we covered the triumphant case of Israeli Messianic Jewish teen Ami Ortiz, documenting that an arrest had been made in his case, and more importantly, a great number of secular, Orthodox, and Ultra Orthodox Jews across Israel came to support the Ortiz family, condemning the shameful actions of whomever carried this out.

Today, the news is exploding all over the web and the Israeli media that Ya'acov Teitel, an Ultra Orthodox Jewish, right-wing settler has confessed to the attempted murder of the Ortiz family, as well as a long list of bombings and shootings carried out over the past several years. Details have emerged indicating he tried to murder the Ortiz family for their belief that Yeshua is the Messiah.

In one article, the Jerusalem Post documents:

He [Teitel] confessed to planting a bomb on March 20, 2008 at the entrance to the Ortiz family home in Ariel, who he believed were messianic Jews and were trying to convert Jews to Christianity.

Was Teitel an anti-missionary, as many suspected?

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz cites a note left by Teitel at one his crime scenes that confirms his anti-missionary stance, where he accuses the state of Israel of “supporting Christian missionaries whose sole aim is to make us convert from our religion”.

Teitel is also responsible for carrying out violent attacks against and attempted murder of Arabs, homosexuals, and a college professor over the last several years.

Rightfully, Ami’s parents, David and Leah Ortiz, are calling for justice. But are they angry at the Orthodox Jewish community that produced this man who nearly killed their son? A Jerusalem Post article explains,

The Ortiz family said that they do not hold the Orthodox community to blame for the bombing, and that they understand it is only a very small minority in the community who would carry out such an attack.

When the family found out that the alleged attacker was a Jew, "it really hurt," Ami said, "because it's like your own brother has done something like this to you."

Praise God they are not holding bitterness towards the Orthodox community over this. I think that stands as a great witness for Messiah. Please pray for Ami as he has undergone great pain, both physically and mentally.

Last week, we showed how God has taken this terrible event – the attempted murder and critical injury of a young Messianic Jewish boy – and turned it into something great, something used for God’s glory, as religious and secular Jews across Israel acknowledge the evil carried out, and sympathized with and showed support for the Messianic family. As Leah Ortiz stated,

We can testify that the nation as a whole condemns this man's actions. We have received telephone calls and communications from Israelis throughout this past year and a half, from every town, city, and village in Israel. They have been secular, orthodox and ultra orthodox Jews, and the message has been the same - shock, grief and anger over the incident, and the need to let us know that they condemn this vicious act.

And now, things are only becoming more visible; even the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has issued a statement condemning the act,

They do not represent the majority of the nation. They are a small and marginal group, but we have already seen the strength and damage of one murderer. We must continue to condemn the use of violence and to use all legal power against any attempt at violence.

Indeed, these vigilante anti-missionaries are a small and marginal group that do not represent Jews, Judaism, or Israel. Praise God! And may God continue to turn their violence into instruments of his glory. And may he continue to turn their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, just as God is softening the hearts of many Israelis, many now who no longer look down on Israel’s Messianic Jews as cult members, but rather as fellow Jews and Israeli citizens.

With the murder suspect arrested and his confession signed, what comes next for the Ortiz family? What is the final word?

Ami said he is not sure if he will be able to serve in the IDF, because the battery of operations he has undergone may render his physical profile too low. If given the choice, the youth said he would volunteer for combat service, just like his father did.

Ami had difficulty thinking of what he would say to his attacker if he faced him, saying it's too hard to say. However, his mother, Leah, said, "I would tell him, you didn't get what you wanted, we won, in the end we won."


Hat tip to the Rosh Pina blog for their excellent coverage in documenting and exposing anti-missionary abuses.


  1. Someone here owes you an apology. Hope they have the guts to do so.

  2. Thanks Judah. Your post is excellent.

    In the end what we've been saying at RPP and KLT has been proven true.

    There may be extremists and zealots who want to force us out completely, but they will find themselves marginalised by Israeli and Jewish society.

    Read these comments at Orthodox blog VozIsNeias:

    No-one is justifying Teitel's murderous bigotry.

  3. Yeze,

    Thanks for the link. One of the Ha'aretz articles mentions that even Teitel's home community condemns these attacks.

    (Of course, they deny Teitel is responsible, even after his confession!)

    p.s. That Orthodox blog needs a web designer. Way too many flashing, animated .GIF images! My eyes hurt.

  4. Why don't you volunteer I bet they'd love you :)

    Although they did screen one of my comments about Yad L'Achim last week on their blog!

  5. This is very heartening indeed, and I'm so glad you posted this JH since I've been wondering how Ami has been going.

    Especially heartening is the grace shown by the Oritz family. It will put many to shame.

    Things are happening in the heavenlies, folks! G-d is up to something. Pray it in..!